Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Australia - StartSMART: a new way of using technology to support the recovery of injured workers

An innovative new trial is being rolled out in New South Wales that aims to support the recovery of people injured at work.

An estimated 2,000 injured workers will qualify to take part in the pilot, known as StartSMART, which uses web-based technology and personal wellness consultants during the critical early stages of recovery.

Developed by Allianz Australia in partnership with icare and the NSW Department of Education, the program aims to support workers in their return to work and health as quickly as possible and be used in conjunction with existing treatment and workers compensation insurance plans

If successful, the program will be rolled out to more injured workers next year. 

The free and confidential program includes video-conferencing sessions with a qualified rehabilitation wellness consultant, meaning injured workers can access the sessions no matter where they are located. 

Workers are able to choose the times of their sessions so they can be completed at home or anywhere the worker chooses using a smart phone, tablet or computer.

Allianz General Manager Government Services Mark Pittman said: “Allianz is constantly looking for new and innovative ways to support the recovery of people injured at work.

“Our goal is to provide workers with independent advice and support that will
empower them to take control of their recovery so they can return to work, health and normal activity as soon as possible.

“Research shows that recovering at work maintains an individual’s connection to the workplace and contributes to their feeling of being valued – important factors in a person’s physical and mental wellbeing – and this program is designed to help workers get to this point sooner.

“We are incredibly proud of this initiative and we look forward to seeing workers in NSW benefit from the program.”

icare Group Executive Self Insurance, Community and Innovation Tim Plant added: “At icare, we’re passionate about changing people's lives by providing the right support when they need it most. Our focus is on providing an injury management framework that enables early, safe and durable return to work for
workers, and StartSMART is a key element of that.”

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